Chaos

The life-cycle of a butterfly is genius.

Butterfly lays egg. A slimy character called caterpillar comes out. His first task is to eat. So he eats the leaf he was born onto. Both ungrateful and lazy. The caterpillar is apparently picky about the type of leaf he will eat. No shit.

Because of this, the mother butterfly needs to lay her eggs on a specific type of leaf. After gorging on the choicest leaf, the caterpillar takes a short nap. So far, so millennial. However, the nap is not a nap. He is fooling you – that prick.

The caterpillar is going through something called metamorphosis. You know, that process where the person you called an ass-face in school is now a stunning human and ignores your friend request on Facebook.

In the caterpillar’s case, ass-face turns into a flashy Butterfly. But the miracle doesn’t end.

The Butterfly, with zero prior tuition, learns how to fly and the first thing it does – the first freaking thing – is go in search of a mate in order to reproduce and begin the whole freaking process again. You know: what the fucreak!

And somewhere else in the world, a Hurricane wreaks havoc on a city.

Question: Can you figure who caused the Hurricane?

This is the basis of Chaos theory, the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. In other words: a randy Butterfly can cause a Hurricane by flapping its wings.

It’s a theory, but a powerful one. If you are still out for revenge, feel free to piss-off one caterpillar by transferring him onto a dehydrated leaf.

The larger, now prevalent implication of chaos theory is the kind of untraceable events we are responsible for, every day. From the climate to technology, we may be stirring up a Hurricane that’ll exterminate not just butterflies, but us too.

Of course, generic macro-level prognostications like these are useless for most part. However, it’s safe to assume we’ve arrived at a point where chaos theory can be reduced to the level of the individual.

We are waking up to the cacophony of chaos. For the record, quitting Social media isn’t the answer. Our chaos is the hamlety spiral of to-be’s and not-to-be’s; of alternatives; of bazillion choices.

We use the future to change the past. We use the past to renegotiate the present. We use the present to track down the butterflies of the past.

Our lives are splayed over the internet like vomit. While our technology doesn’t suck anymore; our life sucks around the technology.

There’s no way we can completely escape chaos. It’s a consequence of the less interesting more internet-ing life we’ve signed up for. What we need to become is better at detecting and connecting chaos.

Don’t look for the butterfly: Social media, Television, Phone. Look for the caterpillar: boredom, anxiety, insecurity.

Use your theory to draw patterns, and know yourself. Use it to differentiate between the real butterflies: helping people, staying in touch, building communities – from the fake: validation, escape, envy. Because the only chaos that’s worth choosing is the one that is real.

Chaos creates progress. We can’t avoid chaos. But we can become better at spotting brave from bullshit.

And that’s hard given how much butterfly-flapping-bullshit is out there already. In order to become what Nassim Taleb calls anti-fragile (things that gain from disorder), we should know the fragile from the plastic. Real chaos tries to break your fragility, not your boredom. Real chaos stirs up a Hurricane inside you, not around you. Real chaos makes you stronger, not weaker.

Most chaos now is stirred by the dizzying boredom that is our lives. You are both the cause and the caused. You are flapping your wings. But you aren’t flying.

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